Mediatization of Politics: The Role of ICTs in Women Empowerment

Maria Strati and Christine Rüschenschmidt conducted a study about the role of information and communications technologies in the women empowerment. The study focused on the case of the European Women’s Lobby.

ABSTRACT: Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs) shape the communication practices among individuals and organizations. The omnipresence of media led to the interrelation of politics and media. The strong dependence of media and politics could be described by the concept of mediatization of politics. Political organizations have been urged to incorporate ICTs in their daily activities and adapt to the communication norms of the new media platforms. Moreover, media technologies may give a voice to some social groups, such as women, to debate about politics. The goal of this paper is to examine whether the ICTs may contribute to women empowerment to advocate for gender issues and participate in the political life.

Keywords: mediatization, politics, new media, ICTs, women, European Women’s Lobby.

Find the paper HERE

Case Study Assignment: New Media as a Tool for Political Participation: The Debating Europe Case

Maria Strati and George Vitopoulos conducted a study about the impact of new media on political participation. The study focused on European Elections 2014 and based on the case of “Debating Europe“.

Abstract: New media technologies have been integrated also in the political discourse since internet users may produce consume and share information. The study examined the role of new media technologies in the active civic participation focusing on the Debating Europe case, a project that aims to amplify the active civic participation in Europe. The online political debate is also influenced by other forces, such as political stakeholders, market, civil society organizations and the profile of people participating in online political debates. Being familiar with the ICT technologies does not guarantee the active civic participation. However, it could be the medium that may empower citizens to be part of the decision-making process.

Keywords: New media technologies, social media, civic participation, Debating Europe, politics, European Union, Facebook, Twitter, blogosphere.

Find the paper HERE.

“Did you know?”

 A video by Economist which highlights the  phenomenon of technological convergence.

New media and technological convergence is a reality. Online and offline coexist. All kinds of information and communication are digitalized so 0 and 1 are not just two digits. I am wondering what kind of digital skills should we develop to cope with the opportunities and challenges of the digital society? In addition, programmers, computer engineers and other IT professionals tend to be the elite of our society since they know how to assemble and encode all this information and communication.

INFORMATION, YOUTH WORK AND WEB 2.0

young ppl sm

Nowadays internet plays a key role in our lives so it is possible to say that the online and the offline environments are highly intertwined. Specifically, young people use the internet for entertainment, socializing and gaining information. It has been observed that young people usually seek for two kind of information, one of them is different types of opportunities in education, employment and training and the other one is “answers” to several types of questions related to psychology, health and sexuality. For instance, young teenagers may look for information about sexually transmitted diseases or how to terminate an unexpected pregnancy, since they feel uneasy to discuss these topics with their peers, parents or school counselors.

Due to the development of web 2.0 applications each one of us can produce and consume information simultaneously. As a result, it gets harder to assess the validity of information found on the internet. In my opinion, the youth information infrastructures in Europe (Eurodesk, ERYICA, Youth Information Centers etc.) and the youth organizations have a really important role in providing high quality information to young people. It is also important to enforce the already existing cooperation between youth information infrastructures and youth organizations.

Moreover, the provision of high quality information is correlated with the active participation of young people online and offline. First, they know that their opinion can be heard and thus contribute to the development of youth policies. Secondly, they become aware of different forms of active participation, especially the structured dialogue and finally young people become strong actors on decision making processes. Cyber bullying is definitely a barrier of the online active participation of the young people; as a result, EU and youth stakeholders should cooperate in the development of infrastructures in the field of online hate speech.

It is obvious that web 2.0 gives us unlimited possibilities to educate young people about several social issues, motivate them to participate online and inform them about opportunities around the world. Personally, I believe that all kind of youth infrastructures should cooperate in order to provide young people with high quality information.

Maria Strati
NM Journalist, YEU International

The article was published on “YEU INTERNATIONAL NEWSMAIL SEPTEMBER 2013”.

Social Networks and Youth

social media and youthSocial networks became an important dimension of our lives, especially if we refer to young people who could be characterized as “digital natives”. Generally speaking, social networks have a strong impact on the way we communicate and interact with each other; consequently they may play a key role in the thematic areas of education, social inclusion, active youth participation, information and employment. As a result, the users of social networks should develop a responsible attitude in the digital arena based on the values of respect, human rights and privacy.

It is more than obvious that the rational use of social networks provides young people a unique opportunity to express their opinions and also exchange views with people from all over the world. As a result, the voice of young people is raised even more which leads to the empowerment of youth organizations. On the other hand, the young people should be careful regarding the content they post, i.e. they should not reveal some details concerning their private lives or make comments that may offense someone.

According to some researches, nowadays employers tend to shape the profile of their future employee by searching him/her on facebook, twitter, linkedin etc. Furthermore, some HR professionals use linkedin even for the recruitment process. As a result, young people should be focused on which kind of information they reveal and also on what they post. It is said that some people got fired and some other did not get a certain job because of their “digital identity”. On the other hand, some people got the “job of their dreams” or a promotion due to the fact they created a professional profile in various social networks and also because they participated in discussions and groups.

To sum up, the rational use of social networks may improve the lives of young people in many areas. However, young people, youth workers, educators and other relevant stakeholders should be educated and get informed on the emerging opportunities and challenges of these social networks.

Maria Strati
YEU Journalist

Source: YEU INTERNATIONAL, NEWSMAIL MARCH